Thursday, May 9, 2013

Regular Mom


Child B and Child C have a "visit" with their "regular mom" (to distinguish between her, another foster mom, and myself) every week for an hour. It's much anticipated and if it comes up in conversation too soon in the week we have many hard days leading up to the visit. B and C anticipate their visit and are excited to just drive by their "visit place". I'm not sure they really believe that their mom isn't there all.the.time. The difficulty in their anticipation is the let down every time they have to hear that their visit isn't RIGHT now. Their visit is late in the afternoon and even on the day of Child C took a quick bite of breakfast and then ran off to get dressed so he "wouldn't be late".

It's hard.
Really hard.
I'm so so so sad for them and I ache for their loss and hurt at the thought of their hurt as they anticipate seeing their mom and then the loss of separating again.

This week I saw their regular mom up close and personal for the first time.
It was a near out of body experience.
Just seeing all of the children throw themselves on her and call "mom! mom! mom!" with so much energy and life to share with her - all they've missed in the last week. They all had so much of their mom that they needed and she only has an hour she can give. How does she do it? Divide her time so everyone feels loved and respected as individuals and as a group of siblings - in just an hour per week!?!? The children want so much of her and yet only get so much.

And then her. She's full of returned affection but it feels restrained. She's on. Everyone is watching. She can't just grab her babies with abandon and cling to them like she'll never let go. She smiles so big her momma face splits in two, she kisses each on the cheek, her eyes frantically searching each face quickly, she's hugging them all up in a bunch, and then they are on their way through the door and into the elevator to go have their hour in a room where they will continue to be watched, judged, guided in parenting when deemed necessary.

And all too soon, I'm sure, the time is up. The children have behaved so well - they are better and better behaved every week since they've been with us. And then we get in the car and C is rip roaring screaming, B is finding every reason not to get buckled in, Noah is insisting he's HUNGRY and wants to leave NOW, and Del is full of words that she's been saving up while B and C were away - her newest favoritist playmates, friends, and siblings.

And we'll do it all again next week too.

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